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Blogging, the hottest trend in online publishing right now, is currently spreading like wildfire across the Internet.
A cross between an online journal and a bulletin board, everyone from rock starts, politicians, business leaders and your average "Joe" or "Jane" can instantly become a center of influence online using blogs.
But, as with any social interaction, certain rules apply (my grandma calls them manners) in order to be viewed as behaving "properly."
One of the things that gives blogging such strong appeal as an online publishing method revolves around "comments."
Blogs that allow "comments" enable readers to respond and elaborate on the information posted by the blog owner.
These comments and the free exchange of information, opinions, links, and new ideas creates the dynamic and growing content that makes blogging such a popular online activity for both publishers and readers.
However, rules and unwritten customs about the proper use of "comments" on a specific blog are also where most of the problems and controversy will arise.
Since a successful blog eventually becomes a community of people (albeit in cyberspace), proper social behavior is critical to be an effective and accepted member of the community.
Keep these basic rules in mind when approaching a new blog that allows commenting by readers so you won't find yourself on the wrong end of a scolding by people who operate with a different set of rules than you.
As with any social circle, violating the group's rules and customs will instantly cause a negative backlash.
** Keep It Relevant **
Stay on topic with the post you're commenting about in a blog.
Nothing will earn you the wrath and disdain of your fellow posters and the blog owner faster than posting an off-topic comment.
** Watch What Others Do **
Different blogs operate under different rules. What rates acceptable in one blog would earn you a verbal thrashing in another.
Before posting (especially if you have not posted to a specific blog before), look to see the types and quality of posts others make regularly.
Are they long or short?
Do they contain a link to the person's website?
Is there a "signature" under their name?
** Be Polite **
It's fine to disagree with people when making a comment, whether it's the blog's author or a comment made by another reader.
It is not, however, acceptable to launch a personal attack on anyone or make nasty comments in someone else's blog.
If you feel the need to do so, do it in your own blog.
It's the same principle of you can say whatever you want in your own house, but when you're in someone else's house, you act right (and better than you do at home).
** You Can't Respond To Everyone **
If you operate a blog and someone asks a question, try to respond, but both sides should understand that you can't respond 100% of the time.
We all get busy and a blog, unless it maintains a paid membership, is often supported as a labor of love.
© Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved
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